• Title: The Scent of Sake
  • Author: Joyce Lebra
  • ISBN: 9780061662379
  • Page: 260
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Scent of Sake She was taught to submit to obey but she dreamed of an empire The sole heir to the House of Omura a venerable family of Kobe sake brewers nineteen year old Rie hears but cannot heed her mother s ad
    She was taught to submit, to obey but she dreamed of an empire.The sole heir to the House of Omura, a venerable family of Kobe sake brewers, nineteen year old Rie hears but cannot heed her mother s advice that in nineteenth century Japan, a woman must kill the self or her life will be too difficult to bear In this strict, male dominated society, women may not eveShe was taught to submit, to obey but she dreamed of an empire.The sole heir to the House of Omura, a venerable family of Kobe sake brewers, nineteen year old Rie hears but cannot heed her mother s advice that in nineteenth century Japan, a woman must kill the self or her life will be too difficult to bear In this strict, male dominated society, women may not even enter the brewery and repressive tradition demands that Rie turn over her family s business to the inept philanderer she s been forced to marry She is even expected to raise her husband s children by another woman a geisha so that they can eventually run the Omura enterprise.But Rie s pride will not allow her to relinquish what is rightfully hers With courage, cunning, brilliance, and skill, she is ready to confront every threat that arises before her from prejudice to treachery to shipwrecks to the insidious schemes of relentless rivals in her bold determination to forge a magnificent dynastyd to, impossibly, succeed.An epic and breathtaking saga that spans generations as it sweeps through the heart of a century, Joyce Lebra s The Scent of Sake is a vivid and powerful entry into another worldd an unforgettable portrait of a woman who would not let that world defeat her.

    One Reply to “The Scent of Sake”

    1. My 1.5-year-old baby maimed this book and I let him.No, but seriously… there is always a new low. Always, I'm now sure of it. Before I read The Scent of Sake, I thought The Pure Land was the worst of all books about Japan. Before The Pure Land I thought it was Shogun. I dread the day I'll find something worse than The Scent of Sake.It's so bad I can't even… all I am now able to do is to write a review as bland and dull as the book was. So there is this woman named Rie. She is the only child [...]

    2. This had so many possibilities - a woman in paternalistic 19-century Japan - but the writing was just deadly. After about 100 pages, I started skimming; somewhere around page 200, I started skipping forward in big chunks. The narrative is clunky and disjointed, and skips around in a really confusing manner. The main character starts out interesting, but quickly devolves into everything she didn't want to be, and seems to feel it necessary to insure that her children (and others of that generatio [...]

    3. this is THE most emotion-less piece of fiction I have read in a long time. It did not evoke one single emotional reaction from me for any of its characters, regardless of what they were going through. However, having lived in Tokyo for 2 years, I decided to read it to its conclusion and found it somewhat interesting for its historical narrative.For its hard lines and severe edges this story brought back to me the often rigid, stiff, protocol and "saving 'face' is more important than anything" so [...]

    4. This first half of this novel was very enjoyable. The prose and style were terrific. Rie is a young girl living in 19th century Japan. Her father is a leading merchant in the sake business. Due to the traumatic loss of her brother, Rie is the heir. She is forced into a loveless marriage with a man that prefers the company of geishas and sake to that of his wife. As his drinking escalates, he neglects the family business, causing Rie to take the reins and save it from financial ruin. While she ca [...]

    5. Nineteen year old Rie, like all good Japanese girls of 1825, submits to the marriage her prosperous parents arrange for her, hoping she will come to love her husband, who is adopted into her family's brewing business. Rei demonstrates a shrewd head for business, and in a time when women are taught to subjugate themselves, she finds subversive ways to make her voice heard as she moves towards her goal of making White Tiger the number one brewery in Kobe, in spite of fire, shipwreck, and betrayal. [...]

    6. This seriously should have been titled, "The Scent of Suck-ay." The only good thing about this book was the awesome conversation it propelled in our book club. Other than that, go ahead and save 3 hours of your life by skipping this one

    7. More accurate titles for this book:Smell of Sake, Taste of Cotton CandyThe Easy Way OutCoulda Woulda ShouldaLite Historical Fiction: Japan EditionAn American Soap Opera in JapanThe kindest way to describe this novel is that it's very fast paced and light. A less optimistic way would be to observe we were one amnesia case away from a full-blown soap opera. Or perhaps I should compare it to Noh: the set piece and costumes were gorgeous, but the story flat and the characters as wooden as the tradit [...]

    8. Buku ini bercerita mengenai tradisi dlm pewarisan bisnis sake di Jepang. Seorang pewaris tunggal bernama Rie yg merupakan seorang perempuan harus menikah dengan suami adopsi atau disebut Mukoyoshi, yg kemudian nantinya akan menjadi kepala keluarga dan pemegang perusahaan. Pernikahan Rie dengan seorang Mukoyoshi bernama Jihei tidak pernah dilandaskan oleh rasa cinta, karena Rie sendiri sebenarnya sudah lebih dahulu jatuh cinta kepada Saburo, seorang anak ke-3 pembisnis sake juga di Jepang. Oleh k [...]

    9. Books ”AROMA SAKE”Judul Asli : THE SCENT OF SAKECopyright © 2009 by Joyce LebraPenerbit GagasMediaAlih Bahasa : Gema & Wirawan SukarwoEditor : Ayuning & Gita RomadhonaProofreader : @ceriamawardiDesain sampul : Dwi Anissa AnindhikaCetakan I : Maret 2012 ; 548 hlmRate : 3 of 5Tema seputar kehidupan kaum wanita Asia terutama sebelum abad ke-20 senantiasa menarik untuk disimak. Budaya, adat istiadat serta norma-norma sosial yang merupakan aturan baku bagi setiap anggota masyarakat terho [...]

    10. This was an interesting read; but doesn't really break new ground. I like history, Japanese culture, and strong female protagonists so I generally enjoyed the book. It chronicles the life of Rie, from a young girl to her old age, and her dedication to her house- sake merchants- and it's triumphs in business. It's easy to sympathize with Rie from the beginning, and again at the ending- but through the middle her character becomes unlovable to the reader (and I'm sure, to her family as well). Due [...]

    11. I was so disappointed in this book. It's all surface, details are glossed over, and apparently Lebra sees the geisha as expensive concubines, since they keep getting knocked up by someone who frankly doesn't seem to have any power or real money.I read the author's little essay in the back about why she wrote the book, and many things became clear. Despite living in Japan for years, despite being considered an "expert in Japanese culture", and despite her clear love for Japan and its history, she [...]

    12. I enjoyed this historical novel and finished it in two days. Professor Lebra did a wonderful job combining her knowledge of Japanese history and culture with an interesting story line. The Japanese terminology and mannerisms didn't bother me since I'm familiar with much of them. In fact, I was impressed with her knowledge of the details of Japanese life in that time period. The story reminds me of the historical television dramas which the Japanese themselves love. I noticed a few of the other r [...]

    13. The topic of the book--an account of the daughter of a sake brewer in 19th century Japan and her struggle to control the destiny of the family business--is intriguing, but the writing style is frustrating in the extreme. The main character often feels like a 21st century Western woman plunked into feudal Japan, and there are numerous awkward places where characters explain Japanese culture and history to each other in way that feels utterly artificial. "It's so important to keep our communicatio [...]

    14. It was a nice book. If you've never read anything on japanese culture you may actually rate it higher than I have. Most of the plot was around Rie's suffering as a female in feudal japan, and eventually all the other internal family politics and intrigue that take place within the story. It does pique ones interest in that way. Also I thought the author was very talented since she made it sound so authentic when she is not even japanese. But that is usually why books are so good ^__^.

    15. An excellent book. The author does a great job of drawing the reader into mid-nineteenth century Japan and its strict culture. This is a very good book if you enjoy reading about the inner workings of families and relationships and learning about other cultures.

    16. this could have been so good; however the writing was mediocre and for a woman who lived some years in Japan, I am shocked at how little she assimilated beyond the external. This is why I prefer to read translations I guess

    17. The life of Japanese women before the 20th century was always interesting. They seemed helpless and confined by tradition. Their job is to take care of the family and to accompany the husband faithfully and devotedly. Their opinion is almost neglected.Rie Omura is the eldest daughter of the Omura family who was born with the soul of a leader and very brilliant. Her limitations as a woman make her almost desperate. As the heir to the famous sake house, she had to sacrifice many things. Her passio [...]

    18. Rie terlahir dalam sebuah keluarga yang memiliki bisnis produksi sake. Rumah Sake Omura sudah berdiri sejak lama. Ayah Rie, Kinzaemon IX adalah kepala Rumah Sake Omura. Dalam tradisi Jepang, seorang perempuan tidak boleh terlibat dalam pembuatan dan penjualan sake. Perempuan tidak boleh masuk ke dalam kura (ruang produksi sake) karena akan membuat sake terasa asam. Padahal Rie ingin sekali terlibat dalam usaha sake keluarga.Sebenarnya Rie punya adik laki-laki bernama Toichi. Namun Toichi meningg [...]

    19. This is one if those "like it sorta" or "hate it a lot" books. It does start out with that Memiors of a Geisha-like scenario of a girl being raised in a horrid male-dominated society and the awful things they say (kill the self) to the girls. It is hard to read these things as an American woman for chapter after chapter - you want her to slit everyone's throat in the night and take off with the hot sake brewer down the road. Ok, not really. But you WILL start hoping for some relief for poor Rie [...]

    20. I liked it. Yes, it lacks emotion, but Rie can't get emotional, that's why I think it works. What I had a lot of trouble getting used to was the passing time.Still enjoyable!

    21. It was interesting to read a book in that point in time of history, but I didn't enjoy the second half of the book. I got that the author was trying to portray Rie as a strong, feminine character, she just came off as heartless for the majority of it. Learning about sake brewing (something I had no knowledge of beforehand) would be the main thing I took away from this novel.

    22. For the first time I read something historical about sake making! Didn't know anything about sake at all but since it has to do with Japanese culture and history, I grabbed the book and it was indeed a great experience. Sake was perhaps one of the major things in Japanese culture back then. It was a very traditional process and sake brewers have high status in the society. They even have a proper family bloodline (can't recall the proper word, something similar like a monarchy system). The oldes [...]

    23. Pertama saya membaca synopsi buku ini, yang pertama terlintas di kepala saya adalah novel Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Gadis Pantai. Tapi ketika saya membaca novel ini, lembar demi lembar hingga akhir halaman, novel ini jauh berbeda dengan Gadis Pantai. Walau tetap memiliki kesamaan, bagaimana seorang wanita bertahan dengan adat istiadat yang mengikat erat kaki mereka sebelum orang-orang mengenal kata "Emansipasi".Dalam novel ini diceritakan, Rei, anak dari seorang pembuat sake, berusaha untuk meyakin [...]

    24. Buku ini tidak hanya menceritakan tentang sebuah perjalanan suatu "Masa". Buku ini benar-benar berbicara tentang kehidupan. Terlepas dari segala yang terjadi di Hidup ini, bukan hanya tentang bagaimana kita melihat suatu keuntungan atau keburukannya. Tetapi, bagaimana kita menjalaninya, bertoleransi bukan hanya kepada diri kita, tetapi harus dapat mendinamiskannya dengan diri orang lain dan kehidupan itu sendiri.The Scent of Sake, membuka setiap babak kehidupan yang sebelumnya tidak terfikirkan. [...]

    25. This had so much potential. So sooo much potential. When I started to read I could see that the writing style was a bit disjointed and I had a hard time really 'settling in'. You know getting a sense of the environment and the main character whom I was mainly to follow. To snuggle into the world that the author was plopping us in. So when I was feeling rushed along and barely knowing Rie I started to get worried but I had just read another book that had started like that and thought. "Well just [...]

    26. I'd say a 1.5 rating would be fair. Sub-par writing This just did not have an authentic feel to me. The author used the device of having an older character explain Japanese traditions to a younger character, in order to explain Japanese culture to the reader. Here's an example; The main character, the O-kusan of the house, tells a teenaged girl to always remember that rice is sacred. But this is something a Japanese child would learn at age 3, 4, and 5. And isn't this something that most people [...]

    27. Picked up this book during waiting time between editing sessions at work. I surely wish I didn't though, because I ended up disliking this book to an absurd level.There are many things that disturbed me about the culture of Japan written in this book; mostly the lackluster details, the disjointed writing, and the ? ? ? descriptions that might or might not fit the timeline… but what bothered me the most are the portrayal of geisha and the heroine herself.First, the portrayal of geisha. This is [...]

    28. Es un tipo de libro que jamás había leído, con tanta cultura de una región como Japón, me doy cuenta que su vida antes no era tan sencilla. Espero que mejorara con los años.Esta historia la protagoniza una mujer llamada Rie, que nos muestra la fuerza e inteligencia que una mujer tiene a pesar de las adversidades. Con carácter y adelantada para la época en la que esta basada la historia.Muestra como ser justos y que ser justos muchas veces tienes que ser egoísta, pensar en tú familia o [...]

    29. I have mixed feelings about this book. I really like to history and time period and I love Japan, but this book reads more like a history book than a fictional story. I can't seem to become emotionally involved with the characters because instead of the relationships being allowed to play out with dialogue and actions, the author instead has chosen to focus on the business end of things and leaves the relationships to merely telling us that they are progressing.An example of this being that Rie' [...]

    30. Historikal fiksi yang ditulis seorang profesor di Universitas Colorado ini mengupas keadaan Jepang sebelum abad ke dua puluh, dari sudut pandang seorang Puteri yang lahir di keluarga produsen sake. Saya mengambil buku ini karena sinopsisnya yang "menggelitik". Dipaparkan perjuangan perempuan Jepang menyusun strategi untuk melakukan pembebasan dari sistem budaya yang menekannya dari banyak arah. Bukan hanya untuk mendapat pengakuan kesetaraan hak di tengah-tengah keluarganya, melainkan juga untuk [...]

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